Although out time in economics class had been short so far, it has been truly interesting. We began by talking about crabs in the Chesapeake Bay, an important current event for crab fisherman, middle men, and crab eaters. The problem is that there is a shortage of crabs in the Chesapeake Bay, and the fishermen are fishing them at a high rate. Soon the numbers will dwindle and the prices will skyrocket. There are many things to think about in this subject, from scarcity to cost and benefit to opportunity cost, a decision must be made.
We begin with the crab fishermen, who are having both positives and negatives. The positives are the price of their goods, or crab is going up, making them more money. However, many problems are occurring. The first problem is the scarcity of their goods. The crabs are running out. The fisherman must go further and further out in order to fish enough to make enough money, and must consider cost and benefit. The cost is a longer day with more gas or fuel wasted, while the benefit is more crabs, meaning more profit. The crab fishermen are also having trouble with the middle men, the people who buy crabs from the fishermen and sell it to the restaurant. As the prices in the market are going up, the middlemen must bend prices in order to make enough profit. They are having arguments with the fishermen about fatality rates of the crab, and the prices are changing for them. The middlemen have an opportunity cost with the crab fisherman. They are choosing to overcharge, perhaps ruining their ties with the fishermen. This is positive in the short term but perhaps damaging in the long term. Also, the restaurants are in a bind. They must compete with high crab prices, deciding whether or not to spend the money on the crab or not. Some customers are definitely going to eat crabs, while others are being cautious and deciding they don’t want to spend the money on them. The cost is just too high for some customers to continue eating them regularly, perhaps hurting the entire crab market.
The capitals of labor are also evident in this problem. The land, or the sea, is seeing declines in crab population. This shortage is affecting everyone, and the fishermen must decide whether or not to make money in the short term and continue fishing heavily, or gain money in the long term a slow down to let the crab populations to recuperate. The labor is also evident, as the fishermen are doing labor by catching the crab, the middle men are doing labor by buying and selling the crab, and the restaurant owners are deciding how much crab to buy in order to make as much profit as possible. Capital is also evident, such as the boats and cages and other manmade objects. These factors of production are very evident in this topic, and are greatly influential over the entire problem.
The three economic questions are also being answered. The first, or ‘What goods and services should be produced?’ is answered by the crab fishermen, who decide how much crab to catch in order to not waste too much while still gaining as much profit as possible. The second- ‘How should these goods and services be produced is also answered by the fishermen, deciding how to catch the crabs without getting too small or not enough of them. The third is easily answered- ‘Who consumes the goods and services?’ The consumers are the people who go to the restaurants of course; however they are perhaps the most important. Without the price or quality being just right, the customers could easily stop eating the crab, disrupting the while market. They are the most important when answering the three key economic questions.
Economics has taught me how our economies work, as well as other economies around us. From scarcity to opportunity cost, making decisions is tough but necessary, and economics class is helping to teach me to make the right decisions. Although the crab market is in trouble, it is up to the components of the market to make decisions to fix it.
In the final days of government, we had a mock trial of the Fisher vs University of Texas case. This summed up our days in government, and in a way also taught me the most. Government taught me many things. The foundations of our government, how our government works, and the class taught me how to understand it. When entering the 11th grade, I knew very little about how we are governed. The Fisher vs University of Texas case taught me the way of the judicial branch, and how it operates. To understand the judicial branch, I needed to literally be involved in a case, and by acting out the case in class I now know the Judicial Branch.
The Fisher vs University of Texas case is a controversial case involving the university of Texas and Abigail Fisher, a young white girl from Texas. Fisher was denied from UT with a 3.6 GPA and was in the top 12 percent. She argues that because of the University of Texas’ holistic evaluation process, she was deferred. She believed that without the holistic evaluation, she would have gotten in. It is argued that the University already gets enough diversity through the ten percent that they automatically admit, and there is no need for the holistic process that is responsible for the rejection of thousands of perfectly qualified students. I sided with the petitioners, arguing that the university should not use the holistic process after the 10%, because “the 10% plan ensures entry for thousands of black and Hispanic students from very poor neighborhoods, and makes the university comparable in diversity”, meaning that the university is already diverse.
This case showed me the difficulty the judges face in making the right decisions. The judges must use their best opinion to act correctly, and to make the right decisions. The judges had to make their best judgement, and as stated in Federalist 78, the judges needed “independent spirit in the judges which must be essential to the faithful performance of so arduous a duty”. The judges chose to side with the university, as they believed that Fisher didn’t have the grades to get in, and the university has the rights to accept who they feel necessary. The judiciary branch must use ‘judgement’ to perform their job to the best degree.
Government is a very important class because it has taught me to be more knowledgable about the world I live in. I know more. From elections to the presidency to congress, I know how to use my knowledge to form opinions about our leadership. Government as a class has changed my view on our country.
Throughout the year we have been going over current events and how they relate to our class. An important current event is gun control. It affects hundreds of people every year and has been getting much attention because of the record numbers of gun caused casualties in 2012. Every day a new headline over the current position on gun control is introduced on the current whereabouts on the bill being passed. Gun control is a very controversial issue, and I believe it should not be restrained too much.
Gun control should be only a little more regulated, and that people should still have the right to bare arms. I understand that the tragedies in Newtown and Aurora were unfair and people blame the guns. Regulation is definitely necessary to a degree, but restraining citizens from protecting themselves would be unacceptable. President Obama agrees that the right to bare arms is acceptable, but he wants to drastically change the current ways to get guns, making it very difficult to bet rifles and handguns.This is a subject that was even included in the constitution, and changing its meaning dramatically is unfair. This relates back to our government class because it emphasizes the importance of persuasion, a topic that we covered in “Congressional Government”. President Obama is trying very hard to convince Congress to pass the bill, and he is using certain techniques to do so. In “Congressional Government”, the author states that “He can introduce his bill; but that is all he can do, and he must do that at a particular time and in a particular manner…” meaning that the advocates of this bill need help inorder for change to occur. They are very limited. The president is restrained and without more advocacy the bill won’t be passed for awhile.
I have learned many things about national politics from this course. First, I learned about elections, and the several different tactics legislators use to become elected. I learned about the electoral college, and debated over who was going to win the presidential election. I learned about the difference between the political parties, and we started to form opinions. Then, we moved on to the presidency, and we talked about the crisis of the fiscal cliff. I worked with my group to create a possible solution to the fiscal cliff and the national debt. We then moved on to congress and legislature. I learned of the importance of persuasion of legislators in order to ensure their positions, and the different rules the constitution presents to ensure judges stay faithful. All of these examples have led me to better understand our nations government.
Gun control and other important current events that we go over in class are helping to shape my opinions about the government every day. They present me with questions that we can discuss in class, helping me to understand the course material in a more comprehensive manner. The opinions that I am creating are heavily influences oncurrent events, and solutions we have to discussions in class. These discussions are teaching me to think in a different way, and are showing me the different ways the government works.